UPDATE March 2014: Redentor is now open for weekend breakfasts from 7am! They have also introduced a $19 Tapas Menu for Sunday lunch from 12 noon – 4.30pm. Feast on Rump Cap, Prawns, Tri Tip, Chicken Heart, Chorizo, Pork Belly, Cassava, Polenta, Fried Banana, Cheese Bread, Zucchini, Broccoli, Rice Broccoli and Garlic Bread. Awesome!
Redentor. Even if the name is not immediately familiar to you, the image certainly is. ‘Brazil’ conjures up images of bikini-clad girls on beaches, football teams, and the most famous image of all – the iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer, arms wide open, on top of Corcovado mountain overlooking Rio de Janiero – Cristo Redentor.
Named after this statue, Redentor Brazilian BBQ and Bar has brought new owners, Jack and Natalie Sarkis, and a new name to the restaurant formerly known as Na Brasa.
Centrally located in the middle of the ‘eat street’ Surf Parade, Redentor doesn’t look very different to many of the other cafés on the strip – a narrow dining space lined with surf photos and mirrored panels, generic looking faux wicker furniture and moulded tables overflowing out onto the pavement for diners to enjoy the passing parade. If you knew no better, it would be easy to walk on by.
But Redentor is a bit different. It’s carnivore heaven; Broadbeach’s own Brazilian barbeque!
One of several churrascarias on the Coast, Redentor’s a family-friendly restaurant based on the principle of ‘all you can eat’ meat plus sides for a set price. On most days it’s $39.00 for adults; children under 14 are half price and toddlers free, but watch out for the deals! Wednesday night ‘Hump Day deal’ costs $29.95 per person (not as many choices but still great value); on Thursday’s Ladies’ night women eat for half price with a free Caipirinha thrown in (but who could stop at one!), Early bird dining (seated before 5.30pm) is $25.95 on any night, $14 express lunch, not to mention the $19 Tapas Menu available for lunch on Sunday! There’s often live samba to help you chill out and help you get into the vibe.
When you first arrive, you are served side dishes at the table – rice, salad, black beans, cassava, and you are given a wooden block painted half ‘n’ half red and green – your Stop/Go signal to control the food service. Waiters move from table to table ‘rodizio’ style, with skewers of barbequed meat which they carve onto your plate. Accept those you wish to try and enjoy each delicious meat in turn until you turn your block to red, admitting defeat.
We dined mid week and were pleasantly surprised by some of the meat and the large assortment of sides. It was a great value dining experience with plenty of choice – different cuts of beef, prawns, chicken (including wings and heart), lamb and pork, including tender ribs, spicy chorizo sausage, and pork belly. We were served top quality meat, tender and juicy, with eye fillet, scotch fillet and prawns now part of the lineup; all in all, a huge improvement with the change of ownership!
Our favourite dish was the Picanha, or rump cap of the bull, the choicest part of the top sirloin covered with a distinguishing curved layer of fat. The meat was so tender it yielded willingly to the knife, almost falling apart. In a traditional way of eating which Brazilian gauchos/stockmen have used for over 300 years, picanha is a relative newcomer. Only introduced to Brazil in the 1960s as a cheap tasty option to feed migrant workers, picanha has come to symbolise the churrascaria experience.
Some of the sides were exceptional, particularly the Polenta Frita – polenta sticks fried off for a crunchy exterior and the addictive cheese bread. Non-meat dishes also were brought to the table – garlic bread, banana fritters, eggplant and haloumi, cheese balls, roast cassava and yummy grilled pineapple.
Besides the stiletto-clad parade tottering past, the Brazilian waiters are fairly decent eye candy – exotic, smilingly chatty, always willing to please, and we were happily allowed to check out the charcoal grill, housed in a tight preparation space at the back of the restaurant. There was continuous food service throughout our time in the restaurant, always smiling and polite.
Redentor’s fully licensed, but the wine is surprisingly well-priced. For us, we could never pass up a caipirinha, the national cocktail of Brazil! Somehow its acidic bite seems like the best match for the food.
Redentor’s a great value option for groups, a new interactive dining experience for many people with lots to experience, taste and look at. With arms wide open you’ll be welcomed to join the gaucho circle. It’s sure to keep you entertained and well fed, so don’t walk past…you’ll be in for a tasty treat!
Note: Photo of Cristo Redentor by PCVO via Flickr (CC licenced Attribution, Noncommercial) http://www.fotopedia.com/items/flickr-3423397004
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